- Some Reflections on the Revolution in Propaganda
- The Cooperative Principle in Conversation versus the Prejudice in Silence
- Scripts, Stories, Narratives, Filling in the Gaps without Resorting to Fake News and other Propaganda Techniques
- The Continued Toleration of Illiteracy
- The Rationality of Interdependence vs. Independence (+ Self-Reliance + Inter-Reliance)
- The Rationality of Uncertainty
- The Rationality of Literacy
- It’s Not What You Think It Is
- The Irrationality of Irrationality
- For some, we get lost in media
- What are you going to do about it?
- Should You be Concerned about the Rate of Literacy if Over 99% Are Illiterate?
- The Rationality of Intimacy
- You can reach me at the Internet
- The Rationality of Buzz
- Global Languages (and/or Classification Schemes) + Generic Top Level Domains (TLDs)
- Auctions + Markets for Domains, Domain Names + TLDs
- Anti-Dis-Establishment-Arian-Ism + AntiDisInterMediaTion
- The Rationality of Algorithms: Facebook Algorithm, Google Algorithms or No Algorithm at All?
- The Spectre of Populism
- The Unanswered Questions
- The Domain Name is the Medium
- Sign My Guestbook + The Rationality of the Written Word
- The Rationality of Ignorance
- Don’t Listen to One Single Piece of Good Advice — Listen to Many
- Spam Index, Shopping Catalog & Co. – An Introduction to Anti-Social Rationality
- Rational Media + Literacy
- The Big Data Rationality of Large Numbers: Quantitative Statistics + Fanatical Delusions
- The Rationality of Large Numbers
- The Ubiquity of the Text Box (excursus)
- Literacy and Machine Readability: Some First Attempts at a Derivation of the Primary Implications for Rational Media
- Fundamental Principles of Rational Media
- First Essay on Rational Media
- Rational Media, Alternative Media + Mainstream Agendas
- The Rise of Rational Media
- Sense-Making vs. Sense-Unmaking
- There is No Such Thing as Context-Free Meaning
- Limitations in the WordPress Notifications algorithm
- In Our Brains…
- Do You Want To Be Right Or Do You Want To Be Happy?
- Propaganda + Subjectivity in Retard Media
- More about Rewards
- Rewarding Life May Be Counter-Productive When Rewards Undermine Habits
- Something to Hide: Nothing to Show
- The Complacent Illiterate Generation
- The Web Doesn’t Change Much from Day to Day
- If you thought Apple Ads Block was going to lead to the demise of Retard Media, then think again
- Explicit Thoughts
- information retrieval
- natural language
- rational media
- retard media
- Wisdom of the Language
- December 2018
- January 2018
- April 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
In the following, I understand the Internet as a massive text connected by many participants conversing with one another. Parts of the text are in close connection, and the discussion can be viewed as heated insofar as the sub-texts reference each other in some way (links are merely one example of such cross-references). Other parts of the text are fairly isolated, hardly discussed, rarely (if ever) referenced. I want to argue that the former parts are “well formed” in the sense that they follow Grice (1975)’s cooperative principle, and that the latter seem to evidence a sort of prejudice (performed by the disengaged participants) — which I hope to be able to elucidate more clearly.
Before I embark on this little adventure, let me ask you to consider two somewhat complementary attitudes people commonly choose between when they are confronted with conversational situations. These are usually referred to as “feelings” — and in order to simplify, I will portray them as if they were simply logically diametrically opposed … whereas I guess most situations involve a wide variety of factors each varying in shades of gray rather than simple binary black versus white, one versus zero. Let’s just call them trust and distrust, and perhaps we can ascribe to elements of any situation as trustworthy versus distrustworthy.
Next, let me introduce another scale — ranging from uncertainty (self-doubt) to certainty (self-confidence).
Together, these two factors of prejudice (in other words: preliminary evaluations of other-trustworthiness and self-confidence) crucially impact our judgment of whether or not to engage in conversations, discussions, to voice our own opinions, whether online or offline.
As we probably all know, the world is not as simple as a reduction to two factors governing the course of all conversations. For example: How does it happen that a person comes to fall on this end or that end of either scale? No doubt a person’s identity is influenced by a wide variety of group affiliations and/or social mores, norms and similar contextual cues which push and pull them into some sort of category, whether left or right, wrong or fixed, up or down, in or out with mainstream groupings. One of the most detailed investigations of the vast complexity and multiplicity woven into the social fabric is the seminal work by Berger and Luckmann titled “The Social Construction of Reality”.
While I would probably be the first to admit the above approach is a huge oversimplification of something as complex as all of human interactions on a global scale, I do feel the time is ripe for us to admit that the way we have approached the issue thus far has been so plagued with falsehoods and downright failures, that we cannot afford ourselves to continue down this path. In an extreme “doomsday” scenario, we might face nuclear war, runaway global warming, etc. all hidden behind “fake news” propaganda spread by robots gone amok. In other words, continuing this way could be tantamount to mass suicide, annihilation of the human race, and perhaps even all life on the planet. Following Pascal, rather than asking ourselves whether there is a meaning to life, I also venture to ask whether we can afford to deny life has any meaning whatsoever — lest we be wrong.
If I am so sure that failing to act could very well lead to total annihilation, then what do I propose is required to save ourselves from our own demise?
First and foremost, I propose we give up the fantasy of a simplistic true-or-false type binary logic that usually leads to the development of “Weapons of Math Destruction”. That, in my humble opinion, would be a good first step.
What ought to follow next might be a realization that there are infinite directions any discussion might lead (rather than a simplistic “pro” vs. “contra”). I could echo Wittgenstein’s insight that the limits of directions are the limits of our language — and in this age of devotion to ones and zeros, we can perhaps find some solace in the notion of a vocabulary of more than just two cases.
Once we have tested the waters and begun to move forewards toward the vast horizons available to us, we may begin to understand the vast multi-dimensionality of reality — for example including happy events, sad events, dull events, exciting events and many many more possibilities. Some phenomena may be closely linked, other factors may be mutually orthogonal in a wide variety of different ways. Most will probably be neither diametrically opposed nor completely aligned — the interconnections will usually be interwoven in varying degrees, and the resulting complexity will be difficult to grasp simply. Slowly but surely we will again become familiar with the notion of “subject expertise”, which in our current era of brute force machinistic algorithms has become so direly neglected.
If all goes well, we might be able to start wondering again, to experience amazement, to become dazzled with the precious secrets of life and living, to cherish the mysterious and puzzling evidences of fleeting existence, and so on.
propaganda, rational media,
language, natural language,
algorithm, algorithms, algorithmic,
big data, data, research, science,
AI, artificial intelligence,
Scripts, Stories, Narratives, Filling in the Gaps without Resorting to Fake News and other Propaganda Techniques
I have recently been minding my gaping gap and just the other day I was talking with someone about filling in the gaps, so I’ve decided to give you all a what’s update (I’m thinking that could maybe catch on sometime as a new term, sort of like all gangsta ‘n’ neato).